Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Title IX, Civil Rights, Religious Exemption, Department of Education, Fourteenth Amendment, Religious Liberty, Discrimination, Constitutional Law, Ministerial Exception, LGBTQ, Hunter v. Department of Education


Petitioners in Hunter v. Department of Education questioned the constitutionality of the Title IX religious exemption as the basis of their 2021 class-action lawsuit. They claimed that more than 30 religious schools maintained discriminatory policies against LGBTQ students under the exemption. The religious exemption, often painted as unconstitutional discrimination, permits religious schools' adherence to sincerely held religious beliefs—and promotes a distinctive religious education that secular schools lack. This paper examines legal precedents relevant to religious freedom, higher education, and discrimination that demand the Title IX religious exemption remains in effect.